Saturday, December 25, 2010

Peace on Earth

I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (or Upper Left Side, as my husband calls it), so it is not surprising that at mass there is, among the intercessions, always a prayer for leaders to "work together to end the violence" in the world. In the eighteenth century, which is my area of research, there were many (the Enlighteners) who began to imagine that perpetual peace could be achieved on earth. There is a great sign on a phone booth on Broadway: "What good is hate?" Indeed. Such a question is what H.L. Mencken would have described as a pompous instance of "the self-evident made horrifying." What makes it worse is that tax dollars have been spent to publicize this phony iconoclasm.

Yet I will make one wish for peace at Christmas, namely, that Christians throughout the world be able to enjoy the freedom to worship. For instance, the Christians in Indonesia pictured above, living in a majority-Muslim nation. For that to happen our leaders need to summon the courage to start speaking out against the intolerance toward Christians worldwide.

Picture credit: Big Picture


Anonymous said...

A Holiday Thought...

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: &

"Any great change must expect opposition because it shakes the very foundation of privilege."
Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1793-1880, minister, women's rights leader, abolitionist, peace activist, humanitarian

Goethe Girl said...

Yes, "Anonymous," humans are indeed very amazing. It's a wonder we have made it this far, but I try to keep in mind something I heard many years ago. Back in the 1970s, when the West's relations with Idi Amin were at their lowest, the Ugandan dictator accused the West of "double standards." Someone responded: "it's better to have double standards than no standards at all." Keep that in mind in 2011. Count your blessing and do your best to make your small corner of the world a better place.